And people are shopping online now more than ever (in case you couldn’t already tell by the disappearing brick and mortar stores in your local area). TechCrunch reported in 2016 that 79 percent of Americans now regularly shop online. In 2000, this number was 22 percent. So if you’re going to buy online, you might as well get the best deal, right?
Here are our favorite sites for coupons, cash back, and overall online deals.
slickdeals is our favorite among this list for many reasons. First, it’s incredibly easy to set up Deal Alerts. You can customize an alert to be sent to you, so you don’t miss out on big savings. For example, if you know you need a new laptop, you can set up an alert to be sent to you the moment slickdeals finds a new discount offer on laptops.
If you find a deal while scouring the web, you can also post a deal on the website for others to enjoy. This type of social sharing isn’t done by most sites, and it allows you to find hidden gems for massive savings. This goes into the slickdeals forums, which provide a fun way to share money-saving tips and deals with other users. This hasn’t been done effectively since FatWallet was around (R.I.P.)
You can also personalize your front page on slickdeals to be more customized to what you’re interested in.
As you can see in the image above, you can tell the site which categories interest you most and least, decide how you want the deals to appear, define stores that you prefer to shop at, and display which types of deals interest you most. This is a huge time-saver, so you’re not browsing through page after page, looking at products and services that don’t interest you.
We’ve also found slickdeals to have the most extensive variety of offers. You’ll find discount offers on groceries, video games, health and beauty, apparel, financial products and services, travel, and much more. You’ll also find the most popular deals (through votes and usage) immediately visible on the right-hand side of the page.
Finally, slickdeals has one of the best blogs among all deal sites. It’s regularly updated and provides product reviews, money-saving tips, coupons and deals by store and month, and much more. Overall—this is our hands-down, go-to site for cash back and online deals.
Hip2Save: Find coupon codes, cash back offers, and more
Hip2Save began as a blog from a mom who wanted to help friends and family save money. Fast forward ten years and it’s one of the most popular online deals sites in existence. Hip2Save has many of the same features that the other online deal sites do, such as coupon codes, discounts, and cash back offers, but it has many features that make it unique enough to be your go-to deals platform.
First, you can become a Hip2Save Insider, which allows you to create your own profile so you can earn badges and get deals that are unique to YOU. Why waste time going through offers that don’t matter (like kids stuff if you don’t have kids) when you can tailor it specifically to your needs?
This can be in the form of the deals you see on the site to the newsletter offers you receive. And once you’re an Insider, anything you do on the site will earn you points that you can redeem for entries into exclusive contests and giveaways through Hip2Save.
For those of you glued to your phone, Hip2Save offers mobile apps like most other sites, but one thing we loved was the ability to receive text alerts for the hottest deals posted on the site. It’s filtered down so you won’t get bombarded with constant offers for everything—just the absolute best ones.
Finally, Hip2Save has a massive database of printable coupons. For those of you who like to shop in-store and use paper coupons, this is a win-win. You can even find Target Cartwheel offers, as well as Ibotta and Checkout51 rebates for compound savings. Hip2Save isn’t a massive, public company like Groupon, which is one of the things we like about it—it’s run by a family, and it’s still an excellent site to save a ton of money.
ShopAtHome was actually founded in the 80’s by a husband and wife team and has dramatically morphed over time. This site is all about putting money in your pocket. They offer local deals you can grab and surveys you can take for quick extra cash. Most importantly, though, ShopAtHome helps you get cash back when you’re shopping—up to 40 percent of every dollar you spend.
It’s simple to get started, too. All you need to do is sign up for a free account with your name and email address, then download their savings button. If you “Turn ON Cash Back” when shopping online, ShopAtHome will search for deals and tell you when and where you can save money.
Odds are, you’ve heard of RetailMeNot. Many know this website because they searched for “[Product/Service] + promo code” on Google. RetailMeNot has plenty of promotional codes that users can nab for free (and provide feedback on), but they also have a robust cash back program that most overlook. By signing up for a free account, you can earn cash back on places you’re already shopping.
RetailMeNot also now has the Genie—which is a browser plugin that detects where you’re shopping and will pull up cash back offers and promo codes during checkout.
Groupon: The forgotten coupon king
Groupon was founded in 2008, which was during one of the most significant recessions our country has ever seen. Thus, it was timely. Andrew Mason, the founder, wanted to create a site that would allow people to get discounts by buying products and services as a group. But as Hillary Dixler Canavan of Eater writes, the company went through some bad times from 2011 to 2013. People stopped using Groupon the way they should have. Businesses began to avoid partnering with them. Early in 2013, Andrew Mason was fired as CEO. It took a few years, but Groupon has made a comeback in a big way.
Groupon now focuses on businesses that give people what they want—instead of shaking down desperate businesses on the brink of failure to give out deals. It’s quite simple—you get a massive discount because other people are buying the same deal. So for example, you can get this cool pair of skinny sweatpants for $9 instead of $48:
You can see how many other people have purchased the deal, what the reviews are, and how much time is left on the deal.
Groupon offers more than just products, though. You can get similar deals and coupons for food, travel, and local services. You can even get coupon codes from major retailers like Amazon and Target. Groupon also formed a recent partnership with parking app ParkWhiz to help you find discounts on parking.
You may have forgotten all about Groupon, but it’s made a significant comeback and has now even forked over the dollars to advertise during this year’s SuperBowl. Check out Groupon for some great deals.
Speaking of Groupon, another nearly identical site for deep local discounts and online deals is LivingSocial. And the site looks similar for a reason—Groupon purchased their chief rival in 2016 but has maintained it as a separate online business.
Many of the deals are exactly the same as Groupon (like my fancy sweatpants I showed you before), but there are some deals unique to LivingSocial—so it’s worth checking them both out.
FreeShipping.org is a super-simple website created by a husband and wife team back in 2007. They hated paying for shipping online, so they set out to find sites that offered free shipping—either as a practice or through promo codes.
They now partner with hundreds of online retailers to give you free shipping (and discounts, too). As you can see, their site is clean and easy to navigate, so you don’t have to weed through tons of pop-ups and ads.
We like FreeShipping.org as a quick and easy way to ensure you don’t pay shipping costs when shopping online.
eBates: Get cash back with a referral code
eBates is one of the most popular online shopping programs for getting cash back today. It’s straightforward to use, too. All you need to do is sign up for a free account, and when you’re ready to buy something online, you go through eBates (this is how they make money by the way). In using their link or referral code to the merchant, you’ll get up to 40 percent cash back just by shopping through eBates.
They’ve also launched an eBates Cash Back Button. This will show you when and where you can get money while buying online.
eBates also now features in-store cash back if you don’t want to buy online. All you need to do is link your credit or debit card, activate the offer you want, and shop. The cash you receive sits in your account until you request a deposit via PayPal or a paper check.
Frugaa: Find big savings with coupons
Frugaa’s website may look like it’s from the mid-90s, but it doesn’t function like that. According to their website, they have over 40,000 coupons available, over 9,000 free shipping offers, and the average user saves a whopping $28 each time they use Frugaa.
Like most of these sites, you can search by merchant or category to find the discounts you’re interested in. What’s unique about Frugaa, though is their Savings Calculator found on the home page. You can filter your search by a particular category or merchant, then define what your spending budget is. Frugaa will then filter out the most suitable deals for you.
So, if you’re in the market for a new crib, for instance, you can select the “Baby and Kids” category and choose a budget (i.e., $300) and find deals that are most relevant right away. We’ve seen that it works best for lower cost items such as clothing, though. Frugaa wouldn’t be my first choice for top deals, but they have some unique offers that other sites don’t have.
DealNews: Find the best deal simply
DealNews is a big deals site with a ton of offers. They get over 14 million visitors per month and provide at least 400 deals every weekday. One thing I really like about DealNews is that you don’t have to register for an account. That’s one less username and password I have to think about (and fewer email offers!). If you do want to register, though, you can. You’ll get deal notifications, be able to join discussions on offers, and save offers to your desktop or mobile app.
DealNews is straightforward and allows you to select the deal most applicable to what you need—whether by category or merchant—and make the purchase right away. They tend to not mess around with cash back or offers that require coupon codes. They just find the best deals on products and services. Their blog content is also outstanding and regularly updated.
Brad’s Deals: Helpful reviews and shopping guides
Brad’s Deals is a great looking site that doesn’t shove offers in your face. It has a clean, accessible layout that allows you to find the best prices on products and services. Like many deal sites, Brad’s Deals finds the best prices for you. But, they have a few things that other places don’t.
First, it’s managed by real people, who do a quick write-up of some of the best deals. That way you know exactly what you’re getting and why it’s such a bargain.
The second thing and the reason I personally love Brad’s Deals are the shopping guides. It’s like choosing a category on other deal sites, but it gives you more direction. For example, this shopping guide helps you find the best TV on any budget by filtering out the top deals and doing a quick write-up on each of the TVs they feature. Instead of just blasting you with a link that gives you 10 percent off at Best Buy, they are more thoughtful, and directive in helping you make the most educated purchase.
It’s not hard to find good deals online, and it doesn’t even take that long anymore. But the sites we listed above are the absolute best in our opinion. They all offer a different flavor or something completely unique to help you save as much money as possible.
Your turn: which deal sites do you regularly use and why?
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